India's premier luxury lifestyle women's magazine
June 22, 2016

8 Iconic Elements That Make Breguet Watches Special

Text by Simone Louis

Unique in their intelligent styling — with clean lines and clear functions — each Breguet timepiece bears the pedigree of original design

1. Breguet Hands

A. L. Breguet’s hollow, eccentric ‘moon’ tip hands, created over two centuries ago, were an instant success. Sleek and easy to read, they are found on most of the timepieces and have been widely imitated.

2. Sapphire Caseback

The transparent casebacks of Breguet watches reveal the complexity and finish of the movement — indeed, the very soul of the watch.

3. Engine-turned Dials

Around 1786, Breguet began fitting watches with engine-turned silver or gold dials of his own design, and it is still one of the details that identify the brand’s creations. Today, the same kind of guilloche work is also executed on delicate, brittle mother-of-pearl plates, which is a truly impressive achievement in its own right.

4. A Single Number

The manufacturing numbers of Breguet’s watches have always enabled collectors to confirm their origin and provenance. Each piece is assigned a unique production number which testifies to the care of its manufacture for generations to come.

5. Breguet Numerals

Some watches display the distinctive Arabic numerals that A. L. Breguet designed, combining function with elegance. When they first appeared, before the French Revolution, they shared the dial with tiny stars to mark the minutes and stylised fleur-de-lis at five-minute intervals. By 1790, they had assumed their definitive form.

6. The Secret Signature

Unprecedented success made Breguet a prime target for counterfeiters. To avert this danger, in 1795, the manufacture formulated a counter measure — the secret signature, which remains invisible until the dial on which it is etched is examined in oblique light.

7. Lugs

Although essential only to wristwatches, the lugs that link the strap to the case bear the hallmark of authentic Breguet styling. Screw-pins, rather than the usual spring bars, hold the strap between the horns, a solution that is not only more attractive but also more secure.

8. Caseband Fluting

The fluting on the caseband of Breguet watches is another of the tasteful details that comprise the brand’s unique style. The fluted pattern is cold-rolled into the caseband, then finished by hand on a mechanical workpiece holder.

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